Jealousy is a very human emotion. Everyone has experienced jealousy, in some form, in their lives either on the giving or receiving end. When jealousy is reigned in and refocused, to something positive, it is not so bad. However, when you have a business you are trying to build and maintain, being on the receiving end of competitor jealousy can feel horrendous.
You come up with a unique idea for a small business and have made it a reality. It’s a hit and, after hard work, it is becoming profitable. The next thing you know, two other businesses have popped up doing the same exact thing you are doing. It can be easy to become unnerved. After all, you did all of the work to create the concept and turn it into a great business.
Unfortunately, that is just life. Any great idea will invite copying. As they say, ‘imitation is the strongest form of flattery.’ On a positive note, when more businesses are offering what you offer, your prospective market opens up and, if you keep striving to be the best at what you do, competition is not as much of a burden as you first may have thought.
However, when businesses are copying your idea, it does not mean you can just do your best with blinders on to the outside world. Be proactive. Do not be hung up on price. It can be a dangerous game. Instead, keep innovating, to further develop and enhance your product and possibly add new ideas to your line.
Stay engaged with customers. Many customers are vocal about improvements they would like to see in your product or can give you an idea of product accessories that may work well with your current product or service. If you pay attention to your customers, you will also have a built-in market for the next merchandise or service you produce. Complacency is your worst enemy. Keep moving!
Negative Public Comments from Competitors
A customer mentions, to you, some negative comments from one of your competitors. Your first instinct is to get defensive and say something like ‘Well, they are one to talk…’. Quash that impulse immediately. It is the worst thing you can do. Never badmouth a competitor as it looks unprofessional. Instead, discuss your company or product’s strengths with your customer and find out any concerns they may have. Your great customer service and willingness to listen to the customer will be remembered. Also, the competitor not being able to get by on their own merit will make them look petty.
If you retaliate, you will waste time, money and resources trying to trash your competitor when you could be spending this similar amount of time on building your own business.
A friend of mine, Jonathan, had a service-related business. Jonathan had his business being trashed online by his competitors. His competitors were spending time, money and resources to bring down Jonathan’s business online. Jonathan was rightly upset. However, Jonathan chose to focus on his products and customers and believed that if he were to continue on in this direction, his business would grow. He was right. He doubled his revenue within a year whereas his competitors shut down within two years.
With social media comments, especially in reviews, competitors can create fake accounts to attack your service or product at will. Again, you need to resist the urge to post anything back in anger or to post negative comments, in return, about your competitor. Do not waste time, money or resources to attack your competitors. Rise above it and stick to showing your company or product’s strengths and taking care of your customers. Whether you like it or not, you will be judged on your responses to negative comments. Turn that negative into a positive, and you will be seen as the more professional business.
Be professional at all times. Concentrate on maintaining and improving your product or service. Listen to your customers to help you with this. Stagnancy, in business, is the kiss of death. Never lower yourself to bad-mouthing competitors as it makes you look bad too (sometimes worse). While competitor jealousy can seem impossible to deal with, at first, it can actually drive you to be a better business. You’ve got this!